Posts Tagged ‘distant’

Fifty Shades of Grey

August 1, 2012

Author: E.L James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey

Genre: Romance; Erotica

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 514

Geographical Setting: Seattle, WA

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: 1st vol. in Fifty Shades Trilogy

Plot Summary: As Anastasia Steele is about to graduate from college she meets twenty-seven-year old, CEO Christian Grey. Steele is bookish and does not have a lot of experience with men, but for the first time in her life, Steele has finally found a man that sweeps her off her feet. However, Grey is emotionally distant and has a dark past that he will not discuss. In order to have a relationship with him, Anastasia has to sign a contract agreeing to engage in a BDSM relationship. Anastasia is unable to sign the contract for fear that she will be emotionally or physically wounded and longs for a traditional relationship. The first book ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader wondering if Grey and Anastasia will ever be able to reconcile their different desires and have a happy ending. Readers will be impatient to get their hands on the other two books in this trilogy and find out how this romance ends.

Subject Headings: College students — Fiction. Businesspeople — Fiction. Man-woman relationships — Fiction. Erotic fiction.

Appeal: measured, humorous, romantic, distant, dramatic, eccentric, steamy, strong language, informal

3 terms that best describes this book: episodic, character-centered, sexually explicit

3 Nonfiction Read-a-likes:

Career Building through Fan Fiction Writing: New Work Based on Favorite Fiction, Miriam Segall

If you want to learn how to write stories based on your favorites books, TV shows, or video games, then this book will teach you the basics for writing successful fan fiction, and potentially turn writing into a career. E.L. James started out as a fan fiction writer and became a best selling author. If she has inspired you to try your hand at writing fan fiction, then this is a great book for you.

Kama Sutra: the Guide to the Art of Pleasure, V¯atsy¯ayana.

This 2,000-year-old Hindu instructional book for sex is considered to be the most famous work regarding erotic pleasure. If you enjoyed the steamy, sex scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey, and are looking for some inspiration, then check out this instructional guide to sex.

Seven Years to Seven Figures: the Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire, Michael Masterson

If Christian Grey inspired you to become a millionaire, check out Michael Masterson’s seven to step plan to become a millionaire in seven years or less. It will guide you on how to increase your yearly income, invest, and save wisely. Masterson’s book offers real life examples ofentrepreneurial success stories that will show you how to become a financial and business success.

3 Fiction Read-a-likes:

Story of O, Pauline Reague

At her lover’s chateau, the female protagonist experiments with all sorts of sexual scenarios involving two different men. A book considered as racy as Fifty Shades of Grey, this is a great suggestion for a reader who is looking for a book as steamy, eccentric, and dramatic as E.L. James’s works.

Sweet Persuasion, Maya Banks

Serena has spent the past five years fulfilling the fantasies of her clients at Fantasy Incorporated. In that time she has been dreaming for her own fantasies to come true. When she meets Damon Roche, the owner of an exclusive sex club, she believes she has finally found the man she has been searching for. This is a book that shares a similar plot line as Fifty Shades of Grey, because both books deal with BDSM relationships. If you are searching for your next steamy, sexually explicit, and character centered story, then this is a good pick for you.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

A book that is frequently mentioned in Fifty Shades of Grey, Tess of the d’Urbervilles is a classic read that questions Victorian society and ideologies regarding sex. Tess Durbeyfield tries to align her self with her well-off d’Urberville side of the family, but she falls victim to her cousin, Alec, who forever tarnishes Tess’s chance at a happy ending. This book is less sexually explicit and lacks strong language, but it is a great read-a-like for someone who enjoys a character-centered story, a measured pace, and is dramatic like Fifty Shades of Grey.

Name: Alison Kulczak

I Am Not a Serial Killer

June 14, 2010


Author: Dan Wells

Title: I Am Not a Serial Killer

Genre: Horror and Fantasy

Publication Date: 2010

Pages: 271

Geographical Setting: Midwest

Time Period: Current

Series: Yes, TBD

Plot Summary:

Utterly obsessed with serial killers and believing he is destined to become one, 15 year old John Wayne Cleaver lives by a set of very strict rules.  After all, he is a sociopath who has 3 indicators 95% of all serial killers possess.  There is one thing that separates him though; he does not want to hurt anyone, and despite being fascinated with the murderers and their victims, he finds the acts reprehensible.  John suddenly has to confront the rules he’s set up to keep himself and others safe when a serial killer comes to his small town.  He must think like a killer in order to catch the culprit and will have to control his demons that he has caged for so long.  This book is a great entry point for fantasy readers looking to ease their way into the horror genre.

Subject Headings: Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Serial Killers, Demons, Supernatural

Appeal Terms: Dark, Haunting, Introspective, Psychological, Paranoid, Distant, Engaging, Measured, Open-Ended, Accessible, Direct, Small-Town

Three major appeals: dark, haunting, introspective


Darkly Dreaming Dexter: A Novel by Jeffry P. Lindsay

Readers interested in the ethical dilemma of killing “bad” people will cling to this series.  Also, the idea of caging a monster and drawing the line between right and wrong will gain appeal.

Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane

Ambiguity blurs the conclusion and readers are kept on edge, guessing what the outcome will be and who or which self will prevail in the end.

Gateways: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson

Combining murders and the supernatural paced like a thriller, readers will draw many comparisons between the two.


Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi

A chilling look at a prolific killer will entice readers who, like John, were interested in the murderers and the victims.

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism by  David M. Kiely

Drawing upon the appeal of the supernatural and the psychology of the characters in this book, this may pair nicely with I Am Not a Serial Killer.

Who Killed Precious: How FBI Agents Combine High Technology and Psychology to Identify Violent Criminals by Paul H. Jeffers

Motives and predictors will serve as a point of access for readers looking to explore more deeply the thoughts of a violent criminal.

Nobody Runs Forever

October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009 by cassie67

Author:  Richard Stark

Title: Nobody Runs Forever

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 304

Geographical Setting:  Eastern United States

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Parker series

Plot Summary: Parker, a hard-as-nails career criminal, is at a poker game when one of the men is discovered to be wearing a wire. After the man’s body is disposed of, Parker is contacted by one of the men at the game about a bank heist he wants to do, robbing armored cars carrying money from one bank to another. The other players in the heist are introduced, and the details of the heist are revealed, although some of the people involved don’t know what they’re doing and keep changing the plan. A bounty hunter shows up looking for the man killed at the poker game, a police detective starts nosing around, and the robbers have to be quick on their feet to get the goods and stay away from the law.

Subject Headings: Adventure/thriller, Crime & mystery, Bank robberies, Criminals, American Mystery & Suspense Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Mystery & Detective,

Parker (Fictitious character), Suspense fiction, Crime & Thriller

Appeal: This edgy, compelling look at the inside workings of a bank heist has a complex plot line with multiple points of view. The writing style is stark and unembellished, and the explicit violence and language add to the sense of these characters as shadowy, menacing figures with their own immoral code. The story starts out action driven and plot driven, but it takes a few detours to flesh out some of the characters’ motivations.

3 Terms that best describes this book: Gritty, menacing, plot-oriented

Similar Authors and Works (criminals, heists and plans gone wrong):

Killing Castro by Lawrence Block (killers brought together to assassinate Castro, showing their motivations and outcomes)

The Asphalt Jungle by W. R. Burnett (a jewelry heist is planned by a group of seedy con-artists, written in gritty style)

Damaged Goods by Roland Jefferson (a convicted bank robber gets a gritty group together to pull off a bank heist)

3 Non-fiction Works (bank robberies and heists gone wrong)

Heist! The $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft by Jeff Diamant presents what happened from the point of view of a bank employee and the FBI investigation.

Robbing Banks, An American History, 1831-1999 by L.R. Kirchner gives the inside scoop on bank heists, including details of criminal incompetence and ingenuity.

Ballad of the whiskey robber: a true story of bank heists, ice hockey, Transylvanian pelt smuggling, moonlighting detectives, and broken hearts by Julian Rubenstein had to be included just for the title, but it also traces the story of a Hungarian bank robber and what he did to stay alive.

Name: Christine E.

Tags: Compelling, deliberate, engrossing, distant, evocative, intriguing secondary (characters), multiple points of view, vivid, action oriented, character centered, complex, explicit violence, multiple plotlines, open-ended, plot centered, plot twists, strong language, tragic, contemporary, darker (tone), details of bank heists, edgy, gritty, hard edged, menacing, stark, unembellished

Posted in Thriller

The Shack

April 14, 2009

Author: William P. Young
Title: The Shack
Genre: Literary Fiction; Inspirational
Publication Date: 2007
Number of Pages: 256
Geographical Setting: American Northwest; Multnomah Falls and Wallowa Lake, Oregon
Time Period: c.2003-2007
Plot Summary: While on a family vacation, Mack Philips youngest daughter is abducted by a serial killer. Her body is never found, but investigators find a shack where they are certain her murder took place. Three and a half years later, still grieving and unable to move past his daughter’s death, Mack receives a note from God in his mailbox asking him to return to the shack. Uncertain about who the note is from, but still drawn to the crime scene, Mack goes to the shack alone where he meets God as the three manifestations of the Trinity.
Subject Headings: Life change events – Fiction; Missing children – Fiction; Oregon – Fiction; Religious fiction; Suspense fiction; God (Christianity); Loss (Psychology); Suffering – Religious Aspects – Christianity; Family relationships; Theodicy; Belief and doubt; Murder – Religious aspects
Appeal: deliberate, measured, steady, unhurried, detailed, distant, engaging, evocative, familiar, insightful, inspiring, interior, intriguing, introspective, lifelike, sympathetic, vivid, well-developed, well-drawn, character-centered, complex, inspirational, mystical, open-ended, thought-provoking, tragic, contemporary, detailed setting, evocative, intimate, lush, rural, timeless, atmospheric, bittersweet, candid, comtemplative, dramatic, earnest, elegiac, heartwarming, hopeful, melancholy, philosophical, theological, psychological, thoughtful, accessible, conversational, fervent, natural, passionate, unaffected, didactic.
Similar Authors and Works (Fiction):
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory. Conversations with God, belief, doubt, faith, Christianity, didactic, inspirational, theological.
Room of Marvels by James Bryan Smith. Loss, grief, Christianity, psychological, belief, doubt, faith, spirituality.
Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause. Family relationships, grief, belief, doubt, faith, religion, loss, psychological, poignant.
Similar Authors and Works (Non-Fiction):
Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope by Joan D. Chittister. Chittister, a Catholic nun, describes how she learns from a major disappointment in her life. Spirituality, religion, suffering, hope, life change events.
The Doors of the Sea: where was God in the Tsunami? by David Bentley Hart. A Theologian reconciles the problem of evil through the focus of the 2004 Christmas Tsunami. Theodicy, faith, belief, doubt, loss, grief.
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. Lewis’ classic treatise on why God allows suffering. Pain, suffering, theodicy, spirituality.
Name: Tori


March 18, 2009

Author: Louis L’Amour

Title: Lando

Genre: Western

Publication Date: 1962

Number of Pages: 222

Geographical Setting: Tennessee, Texas, Mexico

Time Period: c.1868-1876

Series: The Sacketts

Plot Summary: Orlando “Lando” Sackett sets out for the West on his own after the money for his education and inheritance was squandered by the man his father paid to take care of him. He quickly meets up with the Tinker, a man who can fix anything, who teaches him how to fight. However, traveling with the Tinker only raises more questions about his missing father and the truth about his mysterious fortune. After meeting up with another of his father’s old acquaintances, the three set out to try and find the source of his wealth, while being pursued by those who would try to steal it from them. On the way, Lando is captured and sent to a Mexican prison after being betrayed by his mother’s family. Hardened by six years in jail, Lando escapes and sets out to find his father and get his revenge.

Subject Headings: Sackett family (Fictitious characters) – Fiction; Americans – Mexico – Fiction; Prisoners – Fiction; Revenge – Fiction; Mexico – Fiction; Western stories

Appeal: easy, measured, steady, distant, eccentric, faithful, inspiring, recognizable, series, vivid, action, cinematic, conclusive, flashbacks, coming of age, resolved ending, detailed setting, historical details, historical figures, rural, gritty, unpretentious, accessible, cadenced, dialect, earthy, bildungsroman, authentic

Red Flags: violence, fighting, shootings, stabbing, murder

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction):

Riders of the Silences by Max Brand. Those who enjoy books about characters skilled in multiple fighting techniques might try this title. This story of revenge also includes details of long journeys across the American (and Canadian) West.

Tonto Basin by Zane Grey. This coming-of-age tale centers on a conflict between family members and those who would steal their livelihood. Strong back story and setting lend authenticity to the book.

Six Bits a Day by Elmer Kelton. Two brothers endure conflicts with competing ranches in this action-filled story. Also includes details of cattle drives.

Similar Authors and Works (Non-Fiction):

The Oregon Trail by David Dary. This history of the Oregon Trail focuses on the individual stories of the various types of people who used the trail such as fur traders, missionaries, farmers, gold hunters, and more.

Children of the West: Family Life on the Frontier by Cathy Luchetti. The author combines primary sources to paint a picture of pioneer life in the American West.

Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan. This biography of pioneer and frontiersman, Daniel Boone, separates the man from the myth and shows him to be all the more interesting for it.

Name: Tori

At Risk

February 25, 2009

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Title: At Risk

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 212

Geographical Setting: Boston, MA and Knoxville, TN

Time Period: 2006

Series: Win Garano series (only 2 books as of 2008, the other title is The Front)

Plot Summary: Winston “Win” Garano, an investigator for the Massachusetts District Attorney’s office, has just been called back to Boston from Knoxville, Tennessee. The D.A., Monique Lamont, is assigning him to a twenty-year-old cold case in Knoxville in a bid to gain publicity for her forensics laboratory. It is all part of her “At Risk” program that aims to reduce violent crime in Boston while improving chances of becoming governor in an upcoming election. Win refuses to take the case, especially after receiving threats from a mysterious man in red. However, everything changes when he discovers Lamont has been violently assaulted in her own home. He convinces a colleague to start pursuing the case in Knoxville while he investigates Lamont’s attack in Boston. He must now investigate both crimes to determine whether the two cases are linked.

Subject Headings: Forensic Pathology – Fiction; Massachusetts – Fiction; Public Prosecutors – Massachusetts – Fiction; DNA Fingerprinting – Fiction; Criminal Investigation – Fiction; Tennessee – Fiction; Mystery Fiction; Cold Cases (Criminal Investigation) – Tennessee – Fiction; Murder – Investigation – Tennessee – Knoxville – Fiction; Forensic Sciences – Fiction; DNA – Fiction;

Appeal: fast-paced, distant, eccentric, interior, multiple points of view, realistic, strong secondary characters, action-oriented, cinematic, conclusive, investigative, layered, linear, multiple plot lines, plot-centered, plot twists, resolved ending, contemporary, political, rural, small-town, urban, austere, dramatic, moody, sophisticated, unaffected, uneasy, accessible, candid, concise, conversational, dialect, direct, jargon, natural, spare, unembellished, details of forensic investigation, explicit, violent

Red Flags: Graphic descriptions of death, autopsy, and human decomposition. Descriptions of violence and rape are less graphic but may disturb sensitive readers.

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction):

Echo Park by Michael Connelly. Connelly’s 12th Harry Bosch novel, in which Bosch solves a cold case mired in political conspiracy.

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. A forensic scientist suspects a recent murder may be the work of a serial killer.

Shadows by Edna Buchanan. The Cold Case squad of detectives must solve a 1961 murder before the crime scene is demolished to make way for new condominiums.

Similar Authors and Works (Non-Fiction):

Cracking Cases: the Science of Solving Crimes by Henry C. Lee. This title focuses on the forensics used to investigate murder cases.

Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales by Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. This is the memoir of a forensic anthropologist and his work at the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee.

The Restless Sleep: Inside New York City’s Cold Case Squad by Stacy Horn. This title examines how Cold Case detectives investigate four unsolved murders.

Name: Tori